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Australian plant-based meat start-up v2food is making its supermarket debut, with its v2mince and v2burgers now available in Drakes Supermarkets across South Australia and Queensland.

All 61 Drakes stores will stock the v2food products in its meat aisles, with a recent YouGov study finding 55 per cent of Australians would be happy to see plant-based meat in the meat section.

v2food CEO Nick Hazell told Food & Drink Business that consumer attitudes around food are changing, with people wanting to reduce their meat consumption for either health or sustainability reasons.

“This is a massive opportunity for retailers to get ahead of the curve and partnering with Drakes who is also a homegrown, progressive and independent brand, was a great way to do this,” said Hazell.

“It was also encouraging that Drakes were open to putting plant-based meat in the meat aisle – we want the general public to know that v2food looks, cooks and tastes as good as the meat version right next to it.”

v2food CEO Nick Hazell.

Drakes Supermarkets director John-Paul Drake said the team was thrilled to be the v2’s first supermarket partner.

“Plant-based meats are growing in popularity around Australia and the demand is growing with our customers. We know that they will be eager to be the first in Australia to buy the products from our shelves.”

v2food at full velocity in 2020

It has been a busy year for v2food, as it reaches more consumers through direct channels, such as Deliveroo and Marley Spoon. Both have been a great success, Hazell told F&DB, with home-based cooking gaining popularity during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Having v2 products as one of the options in Marley Spoon is a great way to get the brand name out there,” said Hazell.

“The Deliveroo partnership was also significant for us, helping us form relationships with restaurants. It was also a great opportunity to highlight v2 products as a legitimate plant-based alternative to meat products.”

In December 2019, v2food announced it had secured a site in Wodonga, Victoria, looking to invest around $20 million in the facility.

Hazell said the team is on track to move into the factory, and is currently in the process of hiring personnel. The factory is expected to open this year.

“It’s being constructed in a way that it can be scaled up fast, so while we’re only building it with one production line first up, it’s being sized for four or five lines,” he said.

“Obviously, with the lockdown and restrictions that happened, timelines have been pushed a little, but we are very excited about it and can’t wait to see the finished site.”

v2food is behind Hungry Jack’s Rebel Whopper and officially launched in October 2019, with plans for more launches expected for the remainder of 2020.

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